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DEBBIE GIBSON

Electric Youth World Tour.

 

 

5 stars

August 5th, 1989

 
    I discovered this review while flipping through some of my old writings.  I didn't even remember that I wrote these types of reviews back then.  I leave it as it was written, even though it's a little embarrassing now...

1 - The Set

The stage was set up like a castle.  It was her castle.  The sign above it and to the right of the stage said: "Electric Youth World Tour '89".  Another said, "Debbie Gibson".  In reality, she was touring the US, UK, Australia, and had three stops in Canada.  Luckily, one of those stops was at the Montreal Forum.  

Her castle was white with black areas as differences between stones.  Two parapets, one on the left and one on the right side of the stage, helped extend the stage.  An iron gate kept people from jumping on stage.  In the back, behind her other band members, was the top of the castle, complete with towers, entrances and others that made the castle appear more three dimensional than it was.

There were two male dancers on the stage with her, along with three other female backup vocalists, a saxophone player, two keyboard players, a drummer and a guitar player.  In all: eleven people on stage.

2/3/4 - The Songs / The Style / The Techniques

Three banners hung in front of the stage, preventing views of most of it.  when nine-o'clock came around, the fans were getting restless. Judson Spence had come on at eight, and had played for half an hour.  We then had a forty minute break.

At nine, we started the wave.  It went around the forum five times, and then seemed to die.  Then we started cheering and making more noise and more and more noise until our voices got sore.  Five minutes later the wave started up again, traveled four times around the forum and stopped.

Then the chants started: "Debbie - Debbie - Debbie..."

At ten after nine, the lights went out.  The cheers lasted for at least sixty seconds.  Then one beat of a song.  A spotlight flashed into existence showing a darkened figure standing in a still stance against one of the three banners.

As the first beats of "Who Loves Ya Baby?" played, the banners slowly lifted, with three different spotlights shining in turn on each of the banners.  

When the banners were lifted completely, Debbie ran out to the center stage and started singing to a crowd that was suddenly silent.  We were all standing, and we started singing along with her.

"Over the Wall" started within five seconds of the first song finishing.

"Now... now I want to sing the title track from my debut album," Debbie said.  "Here's 'Out of the Blue'", and she sang.

"I'm going to be in a movie at the end of this year," she said.  "And I've been writing the soundtrack.  Here is one of the songs from that soundtrack.  I'm singing it with..." one of her dancers.  I can't remember the name of the slow song, but the two of them went separately to each side of the stage and sung parts of it together, parts of it apart.  Near the end, they came together, and sang the last line together.  They ended it with a hug.

She made us play a game for "Shake Your Love".  Dividing the Forum into four parts, she had us repeat the first lines from her.  On her left sang "shake your love", continuing towards her right went "I just can't shake your love", "shake your love", and we sang the last part, "I just can't shake... your love!"  To make it "fair", she had her band add music to the words.  It sounded pretty good. 

The rest of her band extended the song as she disappeared backstage.  She had changed from her long black shorts with a white top, suspenders and tall black converse shoes.  

When she came up between five and ten minutes later, sitting on her piano through a trap door in the floor, she was now wearing dark jeans with a faded yellow t-shirt and black shoes.  She rose up as the music for "Foolish Beat" started.  It was beautiful.  For the last verse of the song, she stood up and started dancing.  

The dancers went to work as they acted out a scene for the song "Don't Flirt With Me Baby".  One did flips and the other danced around; both flirting with the four girls.  

"Should've Been the One" went smooth, although the crowd needed a bit of coaxing to do their part near the end of it.  The piano rose out of the floor again as she played it during the interlude in that song.  Meanwhile, the saxophone player came and sat on her stool with her.  She turned around to see who it was, and smiled when she saw him. 

"Oh... only in my dreams," she began, slowly, and then stopped as the crowd roared with delight.  Looking through the binoculars, I saw her lean her head back and laugh, as if to say "I don't believe this."  After thirty seconds of cheering, she sang the rest of that song.  

She then left us "for five minutes while I take a small break", and her partner singer started up.  He told us that the name of the song was "Get up on that Team Spirit Baby", and dedicated it to all the cheerleaders "out there".  

He asked us how many people enjoyed or played football, and there was a small cheer.  Basketball?  Another small cheer.  Baseball caused yet another small cheer.  When he asked about hockey, the forum lit up as if the Montreal Canadiens had won the Stanley Cup Finals!  Anyway, he sang the song, and we enjoyed.

Debbie Gibson rose up on her piano again to start the third part of her show.  This time she was dressed in blue jean shorts (again long); they were lighter blue, but almost sky blue.  She wore a white top, with a blue vest, and soft white shoes.  She came up singing "Lost in Your Eyes".  Near the end of that song, she climbed up onto her piano and sung dramatically on her knees.

She went on to sing "Staying Together", "We Could be Together" -saying that "this is a special song; it's about doing what you want to do", and then "No More Rhyme" -after a few seconds delay while the crew moved the piano from the trap door to place it on the side of the stage so that another of her gang on the stage could play it while she danced.

She then sang "Electric Youth," a sort of extended version as a finale until she disappeared out of the back tower of her castle.

The concert was over.  It was only an hour and a half, but it felt like forever.

5 - Et-Cetera

The songs might not appear here in their proper order -I can't remember the Debbie Gibson Concert exactly as it proceeded -but all the songs are present.  She spoke to us in French, also:  "Bonjour Montreal: Comment allez vous?"  She pronounced every letter, and it made the audience scream with delight.  It was a good try.

This is the third concert I have attended, and the one I want to remember the most of.  I wish to relive this concert, and see it over and over again.  I hope she comes back soon!  I already miss the feeling her live presence made.

 
   

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